This Day in History: 1258-06-11

On 11th June1258, a parliament including John de Warenne, 6th Earl of Surrey and owner of Sandal castle, met at Oxford with the nobles asking Henry III to reaffirm his commitment to the Great Charters and appoint a Justicular (soon to be Hugh Bigod, younger brother of the Earl of Norfolk) to help sort out the king’s financial troubles. Although Henry agreed to put the new arrangements in place, de Warenne (married to the kings half-sister Alice de Lusignan) and William de Valence, the king’s half-brother, opposed them. The outcome of these discussions was the royally sealed document, the Provisions of Oxford, and despite his reservations, de Warenne (a Henry supporter at the time) was one of the twenty-four member panel/council (half chosen by the king, half chosen by the barons) overseeing the Provisions’ enactment. The Provisions not only required the king to be advised by the council but the overseeing of the entire administration of Parliament and the reforming of the king’s and queen’s households. In attempting to avert civil war, it was a similar, albeit not as onerous, restriction of royal authority as the Magna Carta of 1215.